The Lord has called our family to music and college ministry within the Church. We work closely in discipleship relationships (akin to mentorship) with students at the University of Texas at Austin, teaching them to pray, lead Bible studies, and disciple others also. Claire was hired with FOCUS as a Varsity Catholic missionary, leading Division I athlete outreach and will be stepping into her new role as Team Director this year. Ben is working to pursue his vocation as an artist by writing beautiful music for the Church. Your generosity allows us to enter into full-time mission work – thank you for your prayerful support!
You were made for more You were made for a love greater than any wound, heartache, mistake, or insecurity a love that heals, softens, forgives, and affirms one that burns with the desire to both tenderly and irrationally ransom your heart at the same time. You were made for the Love that begets all love.
This love is costly it is one that sacrifices everything for you, dear reader, and thus requires a whole-hearted response. Love in the flesh does not request the completion of a list of errands to be checked off, self-improvement, monetary sacrifices, or even striving to be a good Catholic . Love in the flesh does not demand what you accomplish but instead demands you. The cost of this Love is your heart.
During my sophomore year of college, I encountered the person of Christ – a Humble God and a Love Incarnate – in the confessional. I had successfully convinced myself throughout high school and two years of college that the numbness of partying was normal and that the crazy stories and fleeting sense of adventure were the only things that gave my life meaning. I had no idea who I was nor whose I was. I defined myself by how much I couldn t remember from the night before, which guys found me attractive at the bar, and how many likes my pictures got on Instagram. I thought that I was meant to be an audacious healer in the field of public health, but refused to acknowledge my own festering wounds.
FOCUS missionaries on my campus taught me to bring my woundedness to the foot of the cross where Christ had already experienced it for Himself and thirsted to heal me. And He did. The adventure, excitement, and joy that that I was grasping for in the party culture was quenched by the forgiveness of Christ and there is not one soul on the face of this earth who was not made for that same sacrificial love.
My story is not exceptional. In 2015, 35% of college students reported feeling “so depressed that it is difficult to function”, a statistic that resulted in at least one suicide each semester on my own undergraduate campus. While tabling for Bible study, I’ve met multiple students who explicitly stated things like “I don’t believe in god”, “my life has no more value than that of an animal”, “it’s better to be used than to feel like no one wants to use you”, “my life is meaningless”, etc. These students are products of a godless society, one that lacks personal relationship and focuses only on autonomy and individuality. No wonder St. Pope John Paul II states “man cannot fully find himself except through a sincere gift of himself.”
I dropped out of graduate school this coming year to pursue the hearts of college students for Christ as a FOCUS missionary because the ache that they experience and the self worth that they lack are truly an epidemic. College students are made for more than the hookups that objectify them, the media that profits off of them, and the pseudo-friendships that isolate them.
Your generosity allows our family to be on mission full-time at the University of Texas at Austin, reaching college students not through large events or widespread interventions, but with daily, one-on-one investment. As a public health professional, I could go on to cure the world of an infectious disease, but what would it matter if the world does not know Christ, her redeemer, lover, and gate to the kingdom where eternal spiritual health lies?
Dear reader, my story is so unexceptional that it is yours, it is your parents’, it is your children’s, it is the person’s who sits two cubicles to the left of you at work. We are all called to know God intimately and to participate in His mission to reach the whole world for Christ. I hope to get to know the details of your story better and thank God for your generosity and prayers.